Another Sex Offender Escapes From State Hospital

Don't panic, or anything, but for the second time in about a year, a sex offender escaped from the state mental hospital.

The escape happened about two weeks ago, when a sex offender in the hospital's minimal security transitional reintegration program scaled a fence and escaped into downtown Phoenix. Unlike the last escape, this sex offender was caught after only a few hours.

Last year, 40-year-old Jorge Murillo, a Honduran national who had just finished a 10-year prison sentence for sexual assault, escaped from the Arizona State Hospital on Van Buren and 24th Street in Phoenix, where he was being held as he awaited a civil ruling that would have potentially kept him off the street for another 10 years.

The folks at the hospital had custody of Murillo for six short days before he decided he had seen enough and split.

It wasn't that difficult, either, which prompted criticism of the security at the hospital.

At the time, Arizona Department of Health Services Interim Director Will Humble told New Times that all Murillo basically had to do to escape was hop a few fences.

Murillo was in a small recreation yard on the North side of the jail when he used his bed sheets to hold back the razor wire as he scaled two different sets of 16-foot fencing, walked through a large parking lot, and disappeared into downtown Phoenix.

The only reason authorities knew he was gone was because some of the other patients went to the guards and essentially said, "Um..some guy just hopped both those fences and is now free."

After that incident, the hospital spent about $250,000 on security improvements, including microwave detection systems, security cameras, better lighting, and new fencing, ABC 15 reports.

Considering it seems that all this latest sex offender had to do to escape custody was hop a fence, it looks like it might be time for the hospital to go back to the drawing board.

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James King
Contact: James King